The month is ending but I’ve been listening to some unbelievable vocalists, all discovered by serendipity. There’s a strong country – western – bluegrass connection among them, all women, but each one is distinct.
I hadn’t heard of Martha Scanlan before coming across a bluegrass super group called Reeltime Travelers and their Livin’ Reeltime, Thinkin’ Old-time. Her 2016 album The Shape of Things Gone Missing, The Shape of Things to Come is a nice mixture of slow and medium tempo songs. I loved her two songs on the Reeltime album, Halleluia and Little Bird of Heaven as well. There’s something warm and laid back about her voice.
Anyone who hasn’t been under a rock will have heard of Alison Krauss. I gues I was under a rock. Or, rather, I was listening to a different world of music. I’d initially heard her a few years ago leading Union Station and then, recently on the O Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack. Her latest album, Windy City, is a gentler collection than the Union Station album I have. I’ve recently been hooked on her Down to the RIver to Pray from the film soundtrack.
Courtney Marie Andrews
My daughter asked me if I’d heard of Courtney Marie Andrews, and I hadn’t. As she has said before, our music tastes are very different but, very occasionally, they collide spectactularly. This is a good example. Courtney Marie Andrews’ 2016 album, Honest Life, is incredible. I was getting a copy for my daughter and ended up listening to it myself, on repeat, for the rest of the day. It’s an incredible set of songs – wistful, my daughter describes them – and some evoke such heartache. Like Martha Scanlan, I think of the west when I hear her voice.